CNN correspondent Elise Labott has been suspended for two weeks following a social media kerfuffle. During her coverage of Congress’ passage of a bill, which will pause U.S. acceptance of Syrian refugees, Labott expressed her opinion. She tweeted, “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.” Such statements tend to spill out frequently on-air and are rarely protested, but Labott’s words were retweeted across the Internet. Her Twitter handle includes “CNN,” so some people took Labott’s words as representative of her employer.
Washington Post reporter Erik Wemple took CNN to task in an article that called out the cable news network’s alleged bias as a result of this tweet. Wemple requested a response from CNN, and he received one. The network suspended Labott for two weeks, and she apologized for editorializing.
CNN’s decision has caused more of a furor than Labott’s initial tweet, which has been retweeted 3,000 times and favorited 5,000 times. As a result, Twitter has largely criticized CNN for suspending a reporter who expressed empathy. With a loaded, highly partisan issue like the Syrian refugee crisis, opinions are flying high on both ends of the spectrum. Many outspoken tweeters express support for Labott and disgust towards CNN.